Mid-Sussex District Council recognises Capita’s support in helping them to upskill staff and increase collection rates.
Following the dissolution of the CenSus Revenues and Benefits Partnership on the 31 March 2018, which originally consisted of three West-Sussex authorities, Mid-Sussex District Council needed to take back ownership of their revenues and benefits service.
While the CenSus Revenues and Benefits Partnership was performing effectively in certain areas it had lost a great deal of money of Housing Benefit subsidy for Mid Sussex District Council through poor accuracy.
Helping to bridge the gap, the council took the considered decision to bring the Revenues and Benefits team in-house, but with time against them, this step-change needed to happen quickly, and efficiently.
Understanding the difficulties in creating a team from scratch – as well as fostering a positive working culture, keeping staff turnover low and maintaining performance – the decision was made to recruit staff based on character and personality above knowledge and experience. The only difficulty with this approach? Mid-Sussex District Council needed help upskilling a new team from scratch – and fast!
Facing the challenge was the Revenues and Benefits Business Unit Leader, Kevin Stewart, who commented, “Those who know me know that I love a challenge, but knowing about the team we had recruited as well as the staff we had retained, I knew it was something that we could tackle and make a success out of.”
Capita One worked in close partnership with the Mid Sussex District Council Revenues and Benefits team to help provide their newly appointed staff with technical systems training during an intensive six-week training course. In-depth, this helped to maintain the continued development of the team and was coupled with Mid-Sussex District Council subsequently encouraging nine members of staff to undertake IRRV Certificate 3 level, four of whom have already passed, with the rest still undertaking their studies.
Following the creation of the new team, in just one year the council collected nearly £10m more of revenue collection than in the previous year – marking a huge success, smashing last year’s business rates collection figures out of the park. Last year’s Council Tax collection would also have been smashed but for a very late in the year Single Person Discount Review, the first for 5 years.
In addition, against a backdrop drop of four in ten newly appointed employees typically on average leaving their roles within a year, only one of the 14 has since left – a remarkable achievement.
Kevin went on to add: